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Counting Donkeys and Elephants:. 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections. Step by Step. 1. The U.S. Political System 3 Branches 2. The President’s Place 3. Electing the President Who can be president? (legal requirements) The Election Process 4. Election Day and Beyond.

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counting donkeys and elephants

Counting Donkeys and Elephants:

2008 U.S. Presidential Elections

step by step
Step by Step

1. The U.S. Political System

3 Branches

2. The President’s Place

3. Electing the President

Who can be president? (legal requirements)

The Election Process

4. Election Day and Beyond

back to the roots
Back to the Roots

Founding Fathers’ Main Objectives:

Representation of the people

Avoid TOO MUCH power in one place

(oppressive rulers)

Satisfy varying needs

Encourage unity (compromise)

executive branch
ExecutiveBranch

2.7 million civilian employees

1.7 million military employees

Official US Executive Branch Websites

separation of power
Separation of Power

Checks and Balances

leader of the free world
Leader of the Free World?

Head of State

Commander-In-Chief

Legislative leader

Chief Administrator

Power to appoint personnel

Must work with Congress (compromise!)

White House official website

i want to be commander in chief
I want to be Commander in Chief!

Legal requirements:

Natural-born U.S. citizen

At least 35 years old

Lived in the U.S. 14 years (min.)

Unofficial Typecast

White

Male

Generally Protestant

A New Precedent

Redefining Gender and Race

testing the waters
“Testing the Waters”

Getting a feel for party’s potential candidate nomination

Intra-party competition

Seeking out:

Large amounts of money

Broad base of support

considerations
Considerations

“Incumbent”

Connections

Established

Fewer challengers

Current state of affairs

Support of party

Opposition Parties

Unknown figures

Starting from scratch

Full-blown campaign

Many challengers

Time and money

  • Only one “winner”
declaring candidacy
Declaring Candidacy

Timing

Location

Electability

Excitement

primaries and caucuses
Primaries and Caucuses

Primaries

Open

Closed

Direct voting to choose candidate on state level

New Hampshire

Caucuses

Local

District

State

Local meetings of registered party members

Iowa’s impact

Returning government to the people!

“Super Tuesday”

the primaries process
The Primaries Process

Hillary Clinton

Mike Huckabee

garnering support
Garnering Support
  • Clinton
    • Chelsea
    • America Ferrara
  • Obama
    • Oprah
    • John Kerry
  • McCain
    • Guiliani
    • Schwarzenegger

Spouses!

national conventions
National Conventions

A Party Tradition

Not legally mandated

Baltimore 1832

Build unity

Party platform

Ceremonial Nomination of Candidate

Running Mate declared

national conventions cont d
About 3 months before Election Day

Publicity

Direct media exposure

Build excitement

National Conventions cont’d
we have a winner
We have a winner!

Or at least a candidate!

Campaigning begins!

The goal:

score 270 electoral votes!!

What are electoral votes?

270

method behind the madness
Method Behind the Madness?

What is it?

An indirect election system

Popular vote does NOT decide president

Electors cast “electoral votes” that ultimately decide

Who are electors?

Prominent people

Active in political parties

To learn more about the Electoral College

National Archives on the Electoral College

who gets what
Who Gets What?

How does it work?

# Electors = # Senators + # Reps in House of Reps

i.e. CA = 55 electors

= 2 Senators + 53 representatives in the House of Reps

Washington, DC = 3 electors

WINNER TAKES ALL PER STATE!!!

a popularity contest
A Popularity Contest

Why do we have this system?

Founding Fathers lack of faith in the “average citizen”

Ensuring men of sound judgment

Knowledgeable standpoint

A check on popular opinion,

Amplifying and clarifying voice of people

Or nullifying it?

slide39

The

Long Campaign

campaign strategy
Campaign “Strategy”

Financing a campaign

“Swing/Battleground States”

The Internet Campaign

Role of media/polls

Discussing the issues

campaign finance
Campaign Finance

Where does the money come from?

Top Donors

Individuals

Internet

Matching Funds - yes or no?

Figures from elections past

Over $880 million spent in 2004

http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/index_2004.asp

battleground states
“Battleground States”

Also “swing states”

States that are still “undecided” in who is likely to capture their electoral votes.

Rather than waste time and money on sealing a larger margin of victory in “guaranteed” states, candidates tend to focus on winning these all-important regions.

creating “spectator states”

the internet
The Internet
  • Individual Candidate Sites
    • Presenting a platform
  • You-Tube
    • Debates
      • Republican
      • Democrat
    • Out of Control?
      • Anti - Hillary Ad
  • Fundraising

71% of Americans have internet at home

Public schools & libraries are on-line

the major issues
The Major Issues

Economy

Renewable energy

Taxation

Financial Crisis

Health Care

Abortion

National Security

Iraq

Foreign Relations

Immigration

Education

  • Discover the Candidates Stances on the Issues at:
  • CNN Election 2008
  • America.gov
  • BBC News
  • Personal candidate websites
advertising the issues
Advertising the Issues

Reaching out to specific populations

Advertising techniques

ex: Latino community

Interest groups

Negative ad campaigns

Debates focusing on the issues

election debates
Election debates

Obama vs. McCain (57.40)

election day 1 st tuesday after the 1 st monday in november
Election Day1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November

Time zones

trials & tribulations

Exit poll predictions

Voter turn-out

Voting method

Absentee ballots

Varied voting machines

making it official
Making It Official

Electors cast their “official” votes

Separate ballots for President and Vice President

Certified by state governor

Sent to President of the Senate

Maryland’s 2000 electors

congressional confirmation
Congressional Confirmation

January 6, (unless a Sunday)

joint session of Congress

certificates opened

votes tallied

slide53

Inauguration Day

January 20

Inauguration Ceremony

Capitol Building

Pictures from www.whitehouse.gov

slide54

Oath of Office Ceremony

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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